The University for World-Class Professionals. Legal Services Apprenticeships

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1 The University for World-Class Professionals Legal Services Apprenticeships

2 I am delighted to chair this initiative at a time when the legal sector is facing some of the most significant changes in its history. There will always be a need for qualified solicitors who should be able to assume roles suitable to their skills. Well-managed businesses thrive from having clarity of roles and having the right people in the right roles. These changes will help enable this, creating jobs and adding value to clients and law firms alike. Emma Holt Head of Pannone, part of Slater and Gordon

3 About Legal Services Apprenticeships 4 Business benefits 6 The business commitment 8 Programme details 9 Recruitment 10 Manchester Law School 11

4 About Legal Services Apprenticeships Grow your workforce with Legal Services Apprentices Manchester Law School is firmly at the vanguard of offering new entry points into the legal profession for bright young people. This is radically changing the landscape of legal education and we would like more firms to join the revolution. Manchester Law School is working on this exciting new initiative with several national and regional law firms. In doing so we are supporting the changing resource requirements of firms, driven by the seismic changes occurring in the legal services market. All legal firms are being challenged to look at how they perform their legal duties, but also how they perform as an effective business across all aspects of operations. These challenges need a response with the aim of creating a leaner working model and a more robust and diverse range of skills. This requires an investment in time, targeted training and the right resource in place. Manchester Law School s overriding goal is to support growing and entrepreneurial law firms to develop and structure apprenticeship roles to deliver high quality, cost effective legal services. Your firm could utilise this opportunity to embrace the challenges and expand your workforce by attracting bright young students to the profession. What is a Legal Services Apprenticeship? It is a job, generally offered for a minimum of two years, linked to a structured technical legal qualification delivered by an approved provider where apprentices are regularly assessed for competence. Apprenticeships can be used to recruit to a wide range of job roles including: Trainee Legal Executive Paralegal Senior Paralegal Senior Claims Handler Paralegal Team Leader Personal Injury Specialist Fee Earner Litigation Executive The programme provides training and assessment for apprentices on the practical skills required for their role in the workplace, and also the underpinning law. Apprentices are assessed on both skills and academic law. They are supported throughout the period of training by a Manchester Metropolitan University Assessor, usually a qualified solicitor, who visits the workplace on a regular basis to assess and develop those vital workplace skills. There are three aspects to the qualification: The technical qualification is the knowledge-based facet which forms the academic element of the scheme. The competence qualification is based on observation of practical skills. The functional skills are competencies in English, Maths and ICT, although candidates with recent A-C passes at GCSE in these subjects will be exempt. 2

5 The Technical Certificate The technical certificate provides the academic legal knowledge and the awarding body is CILEx (the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives). As well as being taught (on day release, distance learning or a blend of both), it also contains an exam-based element. The apprentices learn the legal theory and knowledge and then apply it to their day-to-day work. Although it is an option to complete the technical certificate through distance learning, our experience of apprenticeships has taught us that only exceptional learners or those with pre-existing legal experience do well on a distance learning only route. A Legal Services Apprenticeship is a steep learning curve and learners thrive on programmes that are taught with face-to-face contact. The Competence Certificate The competence-based skills element of the apprenticeship is included to ensure the apprentices understand their roles and have the skills required to carry out the job. They are assessed in prescribed areas to demonstrate competence and evidence is gathered from their own practical experience and work in the office. It may be a file note they have made when dealing with a client, witness testimony from their employer, or an observation from a prescribed assessor. This assessor observes and assesses competence in the workplace and in most cases, uses work that the apprentice is completing as part of their fee-earning role. The assessment and evidence to demonstrate competence is driven by the apprentice and the real life work they are doing. The University Certificate The university certificate is an award from MMU worth 60 credits at Level 4 (equivalent to half of the first year of a full-time law degree). This is optional but we strongly recommend that apprentices take advantage of this unique opportunity to gain a university qualification that can offer exemptions from units on our part-time and distance learning law degrees. The certificate enhances both their skills development and their academic understanding of the law. Functional Skills Functional skills in English, Maths and ICT are a prescribed requirement of any apprenticeship framework and address a perceived lack of ability in key areas (identified by Government and employers). 3

6 Business benefits At Slater Heelis my role encompasses everything from ad hoc office jobs to visiting clients in care homes. I have been thrown in at the deep end, which I love. I shadow my mentor and follow what she does so I am constantly learning. I am out of the office a lot, billing for my hours and making money for the firm already. Jordan Calder Apprentice at Slater Heelis Reap the benefits of apprentices: Staff development Shape and grow your own workforce around business needs. An apprentice can progress from Level 3 all the way to Level 7, the equivalent of being a solicitor, through a variety of routes, which means that you can support your staff who have the skills and desire for ongoing training and development. Diversity This programme offers you, as an employer, access to people who may not otherwise have been part of your workforce so you can develop the variety and diversity of staff to meet your clients needs. University qualification Our apprenticeship programme offers a package of study and a university award (including enrolment as a student of Manchester Law School) that attracts the very best talent within the region. Staff retention Retain more employees and provide this opportunity to study whilst working. Entrepreneurial Position yourself as an entrepreneurial employer by early engagement with a scheme that is still new to the sector. Strategic growth Compete effectively and maintain margins within the business whilst being able to demonstrate to clients that work is being processed efficiently. Funding Utilise government funding available for this wide range of skills and academic training. This is currently fully funded training for under 19 year olds and partial funding for over 19 year old apprentices. MMU processes all the funding paperwork and simply requires employers to complete a return on a monthly basis, confirming ongoing employment of the apprentices within their business. Cultural fit Instil your business culture and working style from an early age. 4

7 Apprentices choose one pathway and this is usually aligned to their specific area of work CILEx Level 3 Apprentices have a choice of the following pathways Typical work undertaken on completion of the pathway Civil Litigation with Contract as the law subject Advise on, and progress, straight-forward low value contract claims including simple debt recovery matters. Civil Litigation with Tort as the law subject Advise on, and progress, straight-forward fast-track personal injury claims; assist in more complex cases. Conveyancing and Commercial Property Conduct conveyances of domestic freehold registered land including drafting contracts, searches, mortgage documentation, completion and registration. Advise on residential and commercial leasehold Private Client (Elderly Client Practice) Advise on the law of succession; take will instructions and draft wills; register enduring powers of attorney; advise on lasting powers of attorney; prepare applications to the Court of Protection. Private Client (Probate Practice) Advise on law of succession; take will instructions and draft wills; advise on IHT threshold and exemptions; administer uncomplicated estates including completing oath forms and IHT forms. Employment Practice Advise employers/employees on straight-forward cases involving discrimination (age, disability, religion, sex, race), maternity and paternity rights, unfair dismissal and redundancy. Complete Employment Tribunal forms. Family Practice Advise on law relating to separation and divorce including contact and residence of children and distribution of assets; draft and file divorce petition. 5

8 The Business Commitment How does it work and what do I need to commit to? Apprentices are employed for a minimum of two years and we would require employers to commit to support and employ them throughout the entire duration of the programme. The qualifications are designed to be completed in 18 to 24 months although some apprentices may need longer. Apprentices are employees and as such are subject to your usual terms of employment and need to be paid at least the minimum wage for their age group. The majority of our apprentices are salaried in the region of 10k to 12k although this is at the discretion of the firm and needs to sit within your normal salary bands for those roles. You must commit to release your apprentices for teaching days at Manchester Law School, the dates of these will be given to you at the commencement of the programme. There are usually no more than ten teaching days in one academic year (average one every six weeks) plus exam days. The apprentices in your firm must be involved in sufficient legal work to enable them to complete the competence requirements of the apprenticeship. Apprentices will need a supervisor and mentor to help them with their workload and offer support through the qualifications. We will provide training to support those supervisors and mentors. You need to allow the apprentices time to complete their competence portfolio (this is done online using a secure and confidential system called Onefile) and to study for exams as part of their technical certificate. We would normally suggest a minimum of half a day per week with a recommendation of a day per week where possible. You need to allow the Manchester Law School Assessor access to your premises and to the apprentice and, where necessary, to their supervisor in order to conduct the competence assessments. These are arranged with your consent and at times convenient to you. On average, Assessors will not need to visit more than once a month. The MMU Legal Services Apprenticeship also offers an additional optional qualification from MMU that equates to half of the first year of a qualifying law degree. We encourage learners to complete this in order to further evidence their professional qualification, as personal development and as a route to future qualification as a solicitor.* 6

9 Programme details Bespoke to your business needs The current academic pathways available for Legal Services Apprenticeships cover areas of law in Civil Litigation (with Tort or Contract options), Employment, Family, Property (with both commercial and residential options) and Private Client. Pathways such as Civil Litigation offer a good generic base for commencing a career in law in any firm and other pathways offer more bespoke training specific to a department or role. Next steps Following qualification at level 3, there are a variety of further study options open to the learner and employer. These include: University study with full-time, part-time or distancelearning options CILEx qualifications Level 4 apprenticeship *Benefits of using MMU Why does working with MMU allow you to attract the highest calibre candidates and differentiate your apprenticeship role? MMU is the only provider of Legal Services Apprenticeships offering a university award in addition to the apprenticeship qualification this is a major attraction for candidates who are set on a career in law. All our apprentices are enrolled as students at Manchester Law School so they do not feel that they are sacrificing the university experience; therefore, we attract candidates with very good academic credentials who would have secured a place at university. Apprentices study in our RIBA award-winning 75 million Business School with state-of-the-art facilities, situated in the heart of Manchester. We believe that offering a world class environment supports learning excellence and our dedicated and professionally qualified academic team also reflects that commitment to world class teaching. Apprentices enjoy all the benefits of being a student, such as full access to our libraries (including Lexis Nexis and Westlaw law libraries), support for apprentices with disabilities or requiring special educational support, assistance with careers advice or just the social benefits. So much more than just a training provider! MMU can work with you on all your workforce development across both legal and management disciplines, assisting with both recruitment and training. Because we understand both Business and Law we are ideally placed to partner you. 7

10 Recruitment Recruit the right candidates for you Entry requirements may be: Three A levels or equivalent (grade C or above) and a minimum A-C in English and maths at GCSE, if direct entry from school or college. Direct entry from an Intermediate Level Apprenticeship such as the Legal Administration pathway of the Business & Administration framework. Direct entry for existing staff working alongside fee earning teams (for example Administrators, Paralegal Assistants). Direct entry from another occupation, for example, Administration or Customer Services. Suitability for this entry route is assessed on an individual basis. How do you recruit? MMU can assist you in recruiting suitable candidates and already has a database of A Level School leavers who are interested in this programme. The recruitment process is quite flexible; you can handle the recruitment process yourself through your current processes and advertising channels or we can help you by advertising your job to students who have already shown an interest in this programme. You will need to promote your apprenticeship on the National Apprenticeship Service website and MMU will assist you in completing those adverts. Join us at Open Days where you can meet candidates and promote your firm and apprenticeship roles. Join one of our assessment days to assist the recruitment process. Timeline March Employer adverts Interviews and assessment centres Teaching commences February Schools liaison and open events Feb-Aug July August Enrolment to apprenticeship September October 8

11 Manchester Law School As one of the largest university law schools in the UK, and the only local education provider to deliver law courses at every stage of legal training, Manchester Law School at MMU has been preparing young people for entry into professional practice for more than 30 years. In October 2013 we launched the new Level 3 Legal Services Apprenticeship and will be running this programme alongside a Level 4 Higher Level Apprenticeship from October We have been delighted to work with regional and national firms to assist in finding training solutions that not only fill a resource gap but which also provide an excellent start to someone looking for a career in law. We have 65 members of qualified teaching staff across all legal disciplines. Many of our staff are professionally qualified as either a Solicitor or Barrister and understand the legal services sector from both an educational, as well as an operational perspective. Working with a number of local and national firms, we have developed the only Master s Level bespoke Management Qualification (Postgraduate Certificate in Legal Practice Management) to help firms to respond to changes in the legal sector. Our expertise in legal education and across all aspects of management training cements our position as one of the UK s primary providers of CPD and bespoke work place learning - A truly one-stop shop. 9

12 Legal Services Apprenticeships Shape and grow your own workforce around business needs Develop dedicated staff with the potential to meet your clients needs Attract the very best talent within the region Instil your business culture and working style from an early age Retain more employees Position yourself as an entrepreneurial employer Compete effectively and maintain margins Access government funding The University for World-Class Professionals law.mmu.ac.uk/lsa Manchester Metropolitan University All Saints Campus Manchester M15 6BH mmu.ac.uk 8537 AT

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